Leprechaun Returns

 

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A direct sequel to the first Leprechaun, would you be surprised to hear that Jennifer Aniston is nowhere to be found?

You know who WAS around from the first film? Ozzie, better known as Francis in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Turns out that Jennifer Aniston’s character died of cancer, so her daughter comes back to the VERY SAME HOUSE, which is now an environmentally conscious sorority house. It’s exactly 25 years later, and very bad Leprechaun things start to happen…

I was ready to be fiercely loyal to Warwick Davis’s portrayal of our Leprechaun hero, but it turns out that the new Leprechaun, played by Linden Porco, was pretty consistent with the OG Leprechaun. He was silly and brutal and full of limericks.

This one character gets stoned and yells at goats. I feel that in my bones. She also takes a Leprechaun selfie – that must be some goooood shit. And then this other guy takes a leprechaun selfie – and he wasn’t even high. What the fuck is wrong with kids today?

There were some good chuckles in this one, like when the Leprechaun finds some Crocs and gets offended. He wasn’t impressed by their Prius either.

Unlike the abominable Leprechaun: Origins, Leprechaun Returns is a throwback to the original Leprechaun films and is a worthy installment in the series. There are a few major laughs and a few truly stomach churning moments.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

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Chamber of Secrets? That’s what I used to call my vajayjay back in college…

Thank you folks, I’ll be here all night. My children absolutely appreciate any and all mentions of their former abode and entry into the world, so let’s give them a round of applause for pushing me to revisit Harry Potter and to make inappropriate vagina jokes. My son voraciously consumed Harry Potter books the second he could read. My daughter was slower to get hooked and in fact, only promised to read them if I read them. Challenge accepted!

I saw Sorcerer’s Stone shortly after it was released, but never sat down and intentionally watched the rest of the films. I am fairly certain I’ve seen them all in bits and pieces over the years though. Having just finished reading the second book, my daughter and I had a Friday Night double feature of the first two films…

My favorite part is when I say Her-Mee-Oh-Nee instead of Her-My-Oh-Nee – my daughter has an absolute shit fit about me not saying it right.

Dobby is so fucking annoying. He reminds me of our dog, always cowering and whimpering. I wonder if I give her a sock, she’ll fucking leave?

While watching the film, I told my daughter that Gilderoy Lockhart is a butthole. She said, “No, he’s another B-word, but I can’t say it.” “A bitch?” “Yeah. Can I say that?” “Uh, no.” At what age is appropriate to let a child call someone a “little bitch”?

So, I didn’t know that a Basilisk was a snake – I thought they were lizards. The only thing I know about Basilisks was from playing Magic in college, and they looked like big fucking iguanas. Wikipedia was not very helpful, as they also have chicken legs and a cock’s comb. The fuck?

A fun film, but I feel like it was really long. My daughter fell asleep halfway through, but I made it through both. Onward to the next one!

Ant-Man and the Wasp

 

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Thanks to my kids’ Netflix account, we all finally got to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp. You heard me right – my kids mutinied and set up their own Netflix account for the summer. (I canceled my account when we moved out to the Double D Ranch, land of 1.5mbps internet.) It is a testament to their character and financial acumen that they were able to agree to each contribute $4/month to share an account, all without any involvement of my husband or I. The best part – if they ever start fighting about it, I can just throw up my hands and walk away. My son may have made a great mistake though – Netflix has ALL the Buddies movies – and my daughter LOVES them. It’s gonna be a rough summer for him…

Oh, and about Ant-Man and the Wasp…the story picks up a bit after Civil War, near the end of Scott Lang’s house arrest. Although I knew that the story centered on finding Janet Van Dyne, I had somehow managed to avoid any other spoilers (other than the obvious Endgame tie-ins). The film was a fun ride with a lot of unexpected gifts.

My favorite gift? Luis’ grandma’s jukebox that only played Morrisey songs. I feel like she’s a woman I could relate to. In fact, everything having to do with Luis is a gift. I hope he gets his suit, powers or not.

Walton Goggins was another gift. Unfortunately, I always get him confused with Simon Ogg (The Walking Dead), who is coincidentally also a gift.

Baba Yaga. Gift.

Randall Park (also a gift) gets to be in the DCEU AND the MCU! No fair!

PS, I hate magic tricks, especially sleight of hand, but Scott Lang’s card tricks were also a gift.

I was not in love with the ending – the “laying of hands” part got big eye-rolls from me. The word “quantum” itself became a deus ex machina in Endgame, but it I guess I’m not smart enough to understand what “quantum powers” are. I’ve even seen every episode of The Big Bang Theory and I STILL don’t get it. I guess I’m just dumb.

Looking forward to the next Ant-Man installment. Will Cassie get a chance to be his partner?

The Frighteners

 

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I love introducing the kids to my favorite horror films. I love introducing the kids to my favorite directors. The Frighteners is a horror film by one of my favorite directors – Peter Jackson. What’s not to love?

I’m fairly certain that I saw The Frighteners in the theater. Or maybe I didn’t? I’ve seen it so many times since then though, it’s kind of blurry. At the time though, the special effects were cutting edge. Unlike lots of 90s films, the effects still hold up. Bless you, Peter Jackson.

There’s so much to love about The Frighteners. Michael J. Fox in his last major film role. Jeffrey Combs being creepy as fuck. Jake Busey, also being creepy as fuck. John Astin, father of the future Hobbit. R. Lee Ermey as…R. Lee Ermey. My daughter was excited about Dee Wallace Stone, who is apparently starring in some Disney Chanbel Show she watches. Whatever happened to Trini Alvarado, AKA young Andi McDowell?

I also think that this film continued my obsession with ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper.’ For sure, it started with the miniseries of The Stand, but then this film ended with it…and wasn’t it in Scream? And then ‘More Cowbell’ and then Six Feet Under…that song can do no wrong.

I love the contours of Peter Jackson’s career. From his start with Feebles, through the camp horror of Bad Taste and Dead Alive and then the ethereal beauty of Heavenly Creatures, Jackson makes a pit stop here in big budget horror before his forays into the Tolkien universe. I’m really intrigued by his newest project, a 3D documentary of WWI.

Ghostbusters (2016)

I really truly wanted to love the Ghostbusters reboot. I would have even settled for liking it…but though there were truly funny moments, the film as a whole left me cold.

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The biggest element that annoyed me was the sexual harassment gag with Kristen Wiig and Chris Hemsworth. I know it was intended to be a nod to Peter Venkman’s relentless flirting, but it just made her look gross and pathetic. Maybe they were just trying to make her look awkward, but Wiig is a good enough actress to not need help. That being said, I can see myself awkwardly sexually harassing Chris Hemsworth, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have hired his dumb ass.

The rest of it wasn’t horrible, just mediocre. I feel like maybe the studio watered down the film. Abby and Jillian were supposed to be together, right? Right? THAT would have shown more girlpower. Kate McKinnon is LEGIT the best thing about the movie. But no, America can’t handle a badass lesbian scientist. Oh well, at least we got her dancing to El DeBarge…

You know what made me REALLY happy though? The original cast cameos – they got everybody, except Harold Ramos (RIP) and Rick Moranis (retired). Even Slimer!

So as soon as the film was over, my daughter asked when the sequel is coming out. I just shook my head and explained to her that it wasn’t good enough for a sequel…I bet I can cheer her up by telling her that the sixth Sharknado movie is coming out this summer.

Ghost Shark

When a Ghost Shark eats you, where do you go?

I don’t mean metaphysically, as in what happens when you die. I mean literally – where do the parts of you that the Ghost Shark swallowed go? Are they instantaneously dissolved by Ghost Shark’s ectoplasm? Or are they digested more slowly, like a regular shark would? These are the type of questions that keep me awake at night.

Ghost Shark is everywhere – at the beach, at pool parties, on a Slip N Slide, at a bikini car wash…even in the drain. That’s right – Ghost Shark popped out of the pee trap under a sink and ate a plumber. Ghost Shark also visited a bubble bath, a sprinkler system…Ghost Shark even hid in a cup of water, which was, of course fatal to the drinker of said cup of water. Ghost Shark split that sonofabitch in half. Ghost Shark shoots out of fire hydrants and skulks through puddles. Ghost Shark will pop out of a toilet and suck your ass in like the worst meal from Golden Corral that you’ve ever had. When it rains…EVERYONE is fucked. There is no hiding from Ghost Shark.

SyFy is scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as stars go…Ghost Shark stars Bull from Night Court and the littlest Camden from 7th Heaven. (Side note: I fucking HATED 7th Heaven. There is not a single positive thing to be said about that sanctimonious pile of shit show. End of side note.)

Meh. I don’t foresee a Ghost Shark 2. I have high hopes for Robocroc and Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators, though.

Beetlejuice

So we’re trying to get back in the habit of exposing our children to the stuff we liked as kids, instead of either letting them choose (which means hours of Spongebob and iCarly reruns or Toy Story 3) or forcing them to watch what we’re watching (usually Hoarders, inappropriate sitcoms or Hockey). Since both our kids have been watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory obsessively, my husband took the initiative to sit them down and watch Beetlejuice. I was so proud of him, I could shit.

I didn’t think much about it, but I was older than my son is now when Beetlejuice came out. Even so, he was fine with it – nothing freaked him out. (I wasn’t worried at all about my daughter. She is tougher than her older brother – she recently watched Poltergeist without batting an eye, but it would be too much for my son.) In any case, when we asked him what he thought, all he would say is, “It was cool.” What the fucking fuck? After he watched The Wiz, he wouldn’t shut up about it. I waited days and my son never mentioned Beetlejuice. Finally, a few days ago, my son asked if we have Beetlejuice on DVD so he could watch it again. YES!

I tried to tell my four year old that Beetlejuice is Ken, but I don’t think she understood.

On a personal note, I don’t remember watching Beetlejuice for the first time, but I assume it was on rental, I don’t remember watching it in the theater. I do know that we rented it repeatedly from Showtime Video and Price-Lo. (Yes, the town I grew up in was so shitty that we didn’t even have a Blockbuster.) We never missed the Beetlejuice cartoon either. (Yeah, I was a bit older than cartoon age when it came out – don’t judge.) I even dressed up as Lydia for my 8th grade career class. The project was to create a commercial – I don’t remember what I was selling, but it involved pouring a bag of junebugs on my friend Shelley’s head…(I have pictures, but I sure as shit am NOT posting them.) That class was fucking useless. I certainly am NOT a Fashion Designer, as I presumed back then, but that’s a different story entirely.

   

Thir13en Ghosts

I got tricked into watching it.

Okay, not tricked exactly. My husband waited until I wasn’t paying attention – peeling potatoes – and he changed the channel. By the time I noticed…it was too late, the movie had begun…then he admitted that he tricked me. He knew that I would have said no if he had asked me. Fucker.

Actually, it was much better than the crapfest that I had expected. It was still crap, but
interesting crap, encased in an intricate glass box covered with Latin script. Shannon Elizabeth notwithstanding, I got embroiled in the plot fairly quickly. The plot was standard fare – get the people into the haunted house as quickly as possible and let the bloodbath begin.

Let the spoilers begin, as I defend myself by saying that the lawyer’s death scene was the sole reason that I continued watching this film. Forget the brain-eating in Hannibal – the lawyer’s bisection is now the scene to beat in my own personal hall of fame. All the violence before and after that point was sorely disappointing.

The biggest point of trepidation in watching this film was the inclusion of The LillardTM. The LillardTM is not able to be anything else other than itself – no matter what the film. Googly-eyed, yelling freak that he is, he was less
annoying here than in any other film to date – except, of course, for Serial Mom.

More than anything else, this film is the gifted twin of the crappier The House on Haunted Hill. (Can you believe that tomas actually talked me into seeing that in the theater?) Both were remakes of old William Castle flicks and had the same writer. The plots were virtually identical – people trapped in an airtight house with a bunch of vengeful ghosts. Both sport Oscar winning actors as their leading bastards – Geoffrey Rush and F. Murray Abraham. They were even made by the same production company, which explains a similar look and feel to the production standards. Even though House had the better cast, Ghosts seemed a bit better for the B-ness of it’s actors. Although neither had the best of plots and each had it’s own obvious ‘deus ex machina,’ Thir13en Ghosts seemed to work a little better as mindless entertainment – it didn’t make you work quite as hard to suspend your disbelief.

Although the ‘black zodiac’ is a big load of crap, I was really impressed by the ghosts, especially the Angry Princess. I definitely need to figure out a way to dress up as the Angry Princess for Halloween this year. For some reason, Se7en’s victims came to mind with Kriticos’ captive ghosts. Maybe it was their own seeming implicitness in their own deaths? It was almost as if they all deserved it, even the little kid.

If my review makes you want to see Thir13een Ghosts, keep in mind that I have probably tricked you too. Turnabout is fair play!

 

The Midnight Hour

I rarely review TV movies – in fact, this is my first – but as this was one of the formative films of my childhood, I thought I’d break the rules a little bit.

Halloween 1985. I was in 4th grade at Holleman Elementary. All my friends had seen the movie and it was a source of constant speculation for weeks. “What exactly had Vernon Nestor done that was so bad?” “How come Sandy was the only one not decayed?” “So Lucinda is a witch AND a vampire?” “What is wrong with Mary? Phil is so cute!” It was even the subject of my obsession for years afterwards, mostly because I had taped it one subsequent Halloween. I even forced my college roommates to watch it – sadly, they were more impressed by the silly 80s commercials on my tape than the actual movie. Imagine my dismay when the tape finally gave out and busted. Of course, the tape was at least ten years old and had been watched hundreds of times – but I was seriously bummed. I think I had Transylvania 6-5000 and Earth Girls are Easy on that tape, too. Then comes the magic of DVD! Just last year, The Midnight Hour was released on DVD. Oh, I got it alright, it’s sitting there on my shelf, wedged between Meet the Feebles and Mortal Kombat.

Why in the world do I love this film so much? I couldn’t tell you. It’s cheesy and stupid. The plot is hopelessly romantic, yet tragic at the same time. There’s a crazy Thriller rip-off dance number. There are werewolves, vampires and rotted corpses everywhere. Wait, the more I describe it, the better it sounds…

Let me touch on the cast – TV all the way. The star is Lee Montgomery, the hottie from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. His buddies include Shari Belafonte-Harper (last seen on Babylon 5), LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow guy, Geordi LaForge, Kunta Kinte), Peter DeLuise (21 Jump Street!!!) and Dedee Pfeiffer (a bunch of crappy TV shows). Red Forman, as crotchety as ever, even makes an appearance as the Police Captain.

The soundtrack is just amazing. Actually, the soundtrack is what made think of doing a review. On the way home from work, I put in my new Guess Who CD and on comes ‘Clap for the Wolfman.’ How silly is it to write a song about a DJ? Not quite as silly as having that same DJ actually perform in your song. Anyway, that’s one of the cool songs in the movie, not to mention the fact that Wolfman Jack’s DJ-ness makes an appearance as well. Other songs include ‘Li’l Red Riding Hood,’ ‘Devil or Angel’, ‘Bad Moon Rising,’ ‘Mama Told Me Not to Come,’ ‘Baby, I’m Yours’ and of course, the eponymous ‘Midnight Hour.’ Oh, and I forgot – ‘How Soon is Now?’ during a particularly nasty vampire attack – for years, I would freak out every time I heard it.

Below, you’ll notice quite a long list of accomplishments by the director, Jack Bender. I swear that I have seen at least half of those TV movies. He has also directed quite a few TV shows, from Eight is Enough to Beverly Hills, 90210 to Alias. And let’s not forget Child’s Play 3! The man is clearly an auteur…

There’s not much else I can say about the film, except to check it out.

Poltergeist

Scared the crap out of me….when I was 7.

I think I had a very valid reason to be scared of this when I first saw it. First off, there was a cemetery on the end of the road I grew up on. It was possible, in my very young mind, that that cemetery had previously existed on the end of the street that I lived on. In addition to that, my neighbors were currently digging a pool in their backyard. To top it all off, it was raining. Spooky circumstances, indeed!

Another thing that never fails to be scary, is that fucking clown doll! In my opinion, there are few things scarier than an evil clown. “Can’t sleep, clown will eat me! Can’t sleep, clown will eat me!”

Good thing I didn’t know then about the supposed Poltergeist Curse.

Really, the film is pretty mild, by today’s standards, even yesterday’s standards and certainly by Tobe Hooper’s standards. It does bring back memories…and to date, the only thing my Dad has found buried in the yard has been a dead horse. (No shit, he found a horse skeleton while digging in the front yard.)